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How My Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosis Saved Me From Myself

It’s all too easy to blame a life-changing illness for ruining your life, but did you ever stop and ask yourself, “Where would I be without it?”

I have!

In a life where I wasn’t diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the tender age of 19, where would I be? Well, I can hazard a pretty good guess, and it would have been far from pretty!

I was already on a slippery slope: drinking too much and accepting things from my partner that I shouldn’t have put up with. I was a complete arsehole with my mum, and I didn’t care about anyone or anything, other than myself.

I went to work all week and spent all of my time at home hiding out in my bedroom, usually having a drink and watching TV.  The rest of my time was spent in the pub.

I drank too much, I smoked too much, I took drugs too much, I swore too much and I didn’t give a shit enough.

IBD saved me from myself!

I am strong now because I have been weak before, and I didn’t like it.

I am happy now because I have experienced heart-wrenching sadness before, and I didn’t like it.

I laugh a lot now because I have cried so hard before, and I didn’t like it.

I appreciate each day now because I have been so close to death before, and I didn’t like it.

I am brave now because I have experienced so much hurt before, and I didn’t like it.

I am confident now because I have been so uncomfortable in my own skin before, and I did not like it.

I care a lot now because I have mistreated people and isolated myself before, and I didn’t like it.

I have a lot of love to give now because I hated the world before, and I didn’t like it.

I am grateful for every day I have now because I’ve wasted so many before, and guess what, I didn’t like it!

My name is Sahara Fleetwood-Beresford. I swear too much, and I give a shit a lot!

This story originally appeared on Social Media, IBD and Me.

Photo courtesy of Pexels